Tuesday 22 December 2015

Happy Xmas and a Prosperous New Year

May I wish all my followers and all others who visit this blog a most Happy Xmas and Prosperous New Year. Given the parlous state of the world with conflict and devastation affecting large parts of mainly poor countries this appears a vain hope but we have to remain optimistic. 

Avon Valley Artists last meeting of 2015 with mulled wine, mince pies and sausage rolls - plus a few other goodies. Not everyone is in the photo, there were 14 of us altogether.

16" x 12" Centenaire 140lb (300gsm)

We altered things slightly this year in that members painted first thing - choosing the subject, apart from our trio of Robert, Yvonne and Jan who organized the refreshments.  This is what I produced in about an hour. I had actually drawn the subject previously so was able to start painting immediately. This took about an hour. Yes, I know I rush things but that`s just me. I have a fear of being too deliberate and losing the spontaneity of watercolour, which to me is the charm. I will take longer but never more than two hours at the most.

Colours used were few. The darks were various dilutions of Ultramarine and Transparent Brown (Schminke -Pbr41)). Diluted Transparent Brown along with Raw Sienna also featured on the face and neck which was the first thing I painted, followed by the hair. When I paint the face I do stray into the hair area rather than have a very abrupt line


Sunday 13 December 2015

My Latest Paintings.

The following paintings were done at Avon Valley Artist sessions. We meet weekly on a Thursday at Saltford Church Hall. I don't post them as good examples of watercolour paintings - just my work. Please don't compare them with the regular gallery of paintings I post on here!

This was done as a "Xmas " subject. 16" x 12" Centenaire (Great Art) 140lb (300gsm) not.

I was taken by the original guide photo - cute.

16" x 12" Centenaire 140lb (300gsm) not

The subject was `clothes and drapes! As you can see I stretched the imagination to cover that but we are allowed considerable licence. Just as well as I was scratching my head for days wondering what to do. I normally `google' the subject, then go to `images' and see what results.

Actually I am quite pleased with the results. Each painting took no more than an hour including a loose drawing. The dogs were fairly straightforward but the main problem I had with the lady was getting the colour of her clothes right as they were a shade of lavender. The resulting colour, while nowhere near 100% accurate, is close enough using Ultramarine Violet (PV15) in various dilutions. Attempts at mixing reds and blues were less successful. You can buy a premixed colour called Lavender from one or two makers, but that would be a luxury which wouldn't see much use.

My usual brushes, Escoda travel types up 6 to 8 and Isabey travel brush 6.  

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Watercolour Paintings (12)

To start off December here is another selection of watercolour paintings from a variety of artists, some well-known, others less so. I hope you like them. They certainly illustrate the wide range of techniques, subject matter, use of colour and different styles out there. Food for thought to all us aspiring artists, although at my age it's more a case of preventing the rot setting in - just joking well maybe....To be able to paint like many of these artists!!!

Robert Wade - the Australian Master!

Cao Bei-an. An Asian master!,

Ithan Parmaksiz

Marie-christine Tintane

Calle Posse

Frederic Lurquin

Ann Blockley

Alex Egan

Ektarina Ziuzina

Fabio Cembranelli

Gerard Hendriks -the Dutch Master.

David Drummond

Nilsamai Watercolour

Gerda Mertens


Sunday 22 November 2015

Avon Valley Artists - Thursday 9th Novemberl

This week the subject was 'Autumn berries, nuts and leaves'. We were given, as usual, licence to interpret this as we wished. There were 13 members present, fairly typical these days with several former members no longer active, mainly due to advancing age, some sadly deceased.

Mine is the poor one in the bottom left hand corner! I rushed it for reasons I won't bother you with. Being out of practice didn't help as I've painted very little in the past two months. I'm afraid I soon get rusty!

Yvonne Harry

Jo McKenna

Pat Walker

Jan Weeks

A little thin on the ground!

Monday 16 November 2015

Turner Watercolours

Recently the latest 2015/2016 Jacksons catalogues became available. I say 'catalogues', as there are now two. The standard product catalogue and a new watercolour only. The reason is that with the growth and importance of websites the basic printed catalogue cannot contain the huge number of products they now stock without becoming oversize. The standard catalogue has a lot of watercolour stuff, especially paints, missing.

In this new catalogue yet another brand of watercolour paint. This is called Turner and emanates from Japan. The claim is made that they are `artist quality' and a number of customer reviews, all anonymous, are given which extol the virtues of these new paints.

There are full details of lightfastness ratings, pigments and transparency, which I will come to. The range comprises 86 colours (now 115 July 2016) of which 59 are single pigment paints. That raises the eyebrows until one examines the details.  Of these single pigment paints over 20 say PR (N/A) which I take to mean pigment details not available. Many of them have unusual names, Pearl Black, Copper, Pearl Indigo, Antique Gold and so on. I counted around 20 in this category. Why no pigment details?

There are a number of fugitive paints, Alazarin Crimson PR83, Natural Rose Madder NR9, Opera Red which includes BV11 a dye, and one or two peculiar ones like Clove P(02), Purple Cromwell P(01). What does this mean? Looking at the actual paints I also note a lot of three and a few four pigment mixes that I would normally avoid.

Overall there a quite a few paints that contain good single pigments, blues, some greens, oranges, yellows and reds. You could pick out 20 or 30 in this category. After all who has 89 paints in their palette!.Many of the paints are given `excellent ' lightfastness ratings, the majority in fact although there are four categories from fugitive to excellent. Some of the pigments quoted are not used by the leading manufacturers, some were but have been replaced.

There are four price bands ranging from £3.30p for series 1 to £6.10 for series 4. This is barely a third of what the top priced brands like Daniel Smith and Winsor and Newton are. Can this be true that they are comparable in quality? The American mail order outfit Jerrys Artarama are effusive in their praise of these paints but cynical old me takes all such claims with a large pinch of salt. They are quite a bit cheaper than the Korean brands like Shin Han.

I've not tried Turner so cannot comment on how they perform. The composition of each paint depends on pigment load what additives they have and how the whole thing is formulated. Once we had the estimable Handprint that conducted forensic examinations of paints and the claims made for them. Alas no longer. If this brand interests you try some and report.

Jacksons catalogues, the watercolour only one is on the left.

The new watercolour catalogue doesn't just list products. It has a number of articles and other useful information. Although there is a small charge for this new catalogue you can get one free by quoting CATW with your next order. I like Jacksons. They are easy to deal with and eager to please. The occasional mistake is soon rectified. I am now using a new system of delivery where you pick up from a local point, in my case a McColls shop. This means you don't have to worry about being out when the delivery arrives. I would remind readers that if you live outside the EU you don't pay VAT - 20%. This will largely compensate for any extra delivery charges incurred which tend to be at actual cost, not inflated..

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Watercolour Paintings (11)

Here for the start of November is another selection of paintings picked at random to represent what I like, in part, but also to depict the huge range of styles and differences in approach. As usual some of the artists are known but others not so well know, at least on the wider stage.With many from across the World it illustrates the wonderful array of talent out there. I hope you like them. Actually if you wish to see more look at the index in July 2014, constantly updated, as there are now many  hundreds of excellent and wide-ranging styles of watercolour paintings on this blog.

Gerard Hendriks - brilliant exponent of movement and colour, one of my favourite artists

Milind Mulick - master of complimentary colours, and much else

Another from Gerard

Morten E Solberg Snr - fabulous artist look up his website and also see his video(s) on Youtube

Another from Morten

Ann Blockley - this is her new style

Aud Rye - new to me

The terrific Catherine Rey

Another from Catherine

Cemal Sellinigil - also new to me

Chen Chung Wei - amazing painting

Gabriel Koenigs - my granddaughter loves ducks!

Girish Gujar

Igor Sava

Joseph Zbukvic - a top Australian

Michael Jasiewicz

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Latest paintings

I've not been very active recently - I keep saying that don't I - but this is mainly due to a virus that has affected me during the last five weeks, leaving my with a debilitating cough plus, to cap it all, I strained my back when clearing autumn leaves at the weekend. I was starting to paint more regularly but this has come to a halt. Apart from that I've run out of inspiration for blog posts although I'll probably do a feature on Turner watercolours, another brand to appear on the scene recently.

Another Amerindian - 16" x 12" Centenaire. 300gsm (140lb) not

This is from my extensive collection of black and white/sepia photographs, mainly by Edward Curtis. I should qualify that by saying most have been downloaded from the web, although I also have a book of Curtis's photographs.

Most of these photos are very dark and strongly contrasted and I'm trying to break away from this, using slightly more imaginative colours. This particular individual appears to have a damaged eye, the one on the left of the painting. The colours were mainly combinations of Ultrarine Blue and Burnt Umber for the darks  with added Turquoise (Lukas PB16). Cadmium Red Light.in various combinations and afterwards I used Vallejo Acrylic white for highlights. I'm not claiming it's good but I've done worse.

Fox in Autumn 16" x 12" Waterford High White 300gsm (140lb) not

This was painted at an AVA session two weeks ago. The fox is the main feature with the rest just window dressing. The bright colours are to indicate it is autumn with various reds, yellows and golds predominant. Just an exercise.

Experimental - 16" x 12" Waterford High White 300gsm (140lb) not

I wasn't sure about showing this one as viewers may think I've lost it! It came about as the subject at last week's AVA session `Experimental'. 

We had to pick a few scraps of paper torn from magazines, stick them to the paper using glue (provided) and us your imagination to compose a painting. Not having too much imagination this proved difficult.I stuck three random bits of paper on and then splashed various complimentary colours on letting them run and intermix. What to do next? One of the pieces of paper had a small photo of a young woman so I focussed on her eyes and added my own version of eyes, experimenting with various colours and ways of painting them. Did this work? Pretty weird but it was fun (in the end).

Thursday 15 October 2015

Watercolour Paintings (10)

Another varied batch of watercolour paintings, again from a mix of artists well-known and not so well-known. Hope you like them.

Trevor Lingard - superb British artist

Charles Reid  - the maestro

Milind Mulick - what more can one say?

Catherine Rey - a recent find, love her work

Stan Miller - wow!  

Gerard Hendriks - wonderful use of colour

Alvaro Castagnet  

Bev Jozwiak - one of my favourites

Burhan Ozer - enough said

Diann C Benoit - a terrific artist with a wide range

Gerda Mertens - the Belgian artist who has a way with trees

Guy Legendre

Janine Galizia - a wonderful artist associated with `The Art of Watercolour' magazine

Julie Gillard Pollard

Kees Van Aalst - the master of abstraction